Interactions and relationships among organisms and their environment. This includes biotic and abiotic (non-living/environmental) factors that impact organisms.

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1answer
98 views

Vaccination and population dynamics of an epidemic

I'm trying to figure out how should a vaccination model be built to correlate with population density, and I'm having problems to understand meanings of the results I receive when I apply theory on ...
1
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1answer
23 views

Are there organisms that have incorporated plastic into their lives?

Are there organisms that have incorporated (manmade) plastic into their lives in any way? Either in their diet, or as a part of their body?
5
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1answer
72 views

Effects of selection on effective population size

Background The effective population size ($N_e$) is a central concept of evolutionary biology and is influenced by several parameters. For example: sex ratio bias affects $N_e$ $\left(N_e = ...
13
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2answers
4k views

How will rising carbon dioxide levels in the troposphere affect photosynthetic producers?

Much discussion has been had about the affects of climate change on plantlife, but how will rising carbon dioxide concentrations affect the photosynthetic process itself? Since CO₂ is a reagent in ...
4
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2answers
263 views

Why is the floral biodiversity of grazed grassland higher than that of mown grassland?

I have collected some data to compare the biodiversity of a field in which the plagioclimax is maintained by machine mowing with a field in which the plagioclimax is maintained by sheep grazing. What ...
2
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2answers
103 views

Will climate change affect flower population?

There is a flower population elevated 1000 meters above sea level. If climate change causes a 12⁰C increase in temperature over the next 10 years, what will happen to the flowers?
2
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1answer
149 views

Body size, what are the evolutionary trade-offs?

Background Considering just the "Kingdom Animalia" branch of organisms. It is clear that bigger does not necessarily mean better - there is large variation in body size... From the 94 µm long ...
0
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2answers
35 views

About animal ecology and one view of this in science fiction

In the movie the Matrix Agent Smith said something like, 'all animals strive to find a natural 'equilibrium' with there environment ,... a harmonious existence with their ecosystem', ( forgive ...
4
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1answer
89 views

Which factors may affect a choice of an oviposition place in nocturnal moths?

Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) is a small brachypterous (females have stunned wings - unable to fly) moth which places eggs on thick branches. I would like to know which abiotic and biotic factors ...
4
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1answer
79 views

Could habitat selection pattern be deformed in environment with low variability?

It is possible that strong (clearly visible) pattern of selection towards particular parameter is detectable only in environment with high variability (difference between used (red) and non-used ...
4
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2answers
56 views

Premise of life cycle synchronization between predator and prey

While reading about the predator satiation hypothesis of the periodical cicadas' 13/17 year life cycles, I started wondering about its premise. By the way, I understand the math behind the prime ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Would oxygen levels be stable without photosynthesis?

I learned how the CO$_2$ cycle works in several biology classes, high school, elementary school, geology, and physics. Then today there was an article published in the NY Times claiming: ...it is ...
2
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1answer
19 views

How long does it take for a hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) to reach sexual maturity?

How long does it take for a wild hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) to reach an age where they are reproductive? How does fecundity depend on age and size? I've looked at several hard clam life cycles ...
6
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4answers
272 views

What prevents predator overpopulation?

I've often heard that a population, human or otherwise, will continue to grow as long as there is food available (assuming nothing else is killing them off). It makes sense: if you have food you can ...
4
votes
1answer
42 views

Null distribution of Blomberg's K

I've noticed different functions in different R libraries have different ways of assessing significance for Blomberg's K. For instance, picante's phylosignal looks at a distribution of PIC variance ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Why do pine stands exist?

I live in the midwestern United States. I cycle to work, sometimes on heavily wooded roads, and I can't help but notice that in most places within the surrounding deciduous forests Pine and evergreen ...
1
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0answers
63 views

Genetically modified Klebsiella Planticola nearly bulldozers plant life as we know it?

The article "The Bacterium That (Almost) Ate the World" by Elaine Ingham (see also here or here) describes a genetically modified bacterium that would break down cellulose plant matter into alcohol: ...
6
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1answer
60 views

What controls the southern range of willows?

Many willows (Salix spp.) grow in northern states but do not grow in southern states, for example Salix viminalis. What mechanisms control the southern range of temperate hardwoods such as willow? Is ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Soft and Hard selection

Seems to me that these two sources (M. Whitlock, B. Wallace) use different definitions of soft and hard selection. M. Whitlock: Soft selection occurs when the relative fitness of an individual is ...
5
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1answer
75 views

Competition for mates in sea horses

This source here ...research has shown that it is STILL the males that compete for females. says that male sea horses compete for mates but this source here Females exhibit a ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Two-fold cost of sex and r/K selection theory

This article cites a bunch of articles (I haven't been through them) that the effect of the two-fold cost of sex is "reduced" in stable environment or in K-selected environment. It says: [..] the ...
7
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2answers
352 views

Can humans transdermally absorb minerals from ocean water, and if so how much?

According to several studies quoted here, chemicals can be absorbed by the skin transdermally, at least under certain conditions. When it comes to elements in seawater like sodium, magnesium, ...
8
votes
2answers
55 views

What are the ecological effects of moderately high and prolonged concentrations of nitrogen deposition on an ecosystem?

There are many sources of nitrogen which eventually get deposited out of the atmosphere and onto the land/surface. Typically higher levels of nitrogen compounds are emitted near urban and roadway ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do kefir grains stop growing in soy milk?

Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. It usually is prepared by inoculating cow, goat or sheep milk with kefir grains. I would like to prepare the drink with soy milk, which worked ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Why do hummingbirds build nests with live ferns instead of dead materials?

Hummingbirds prefer to build their nests with spore-bearing ferns, and mosses. This is helpful for the reproduction of the ferns, which are then better able to spread their seeds. But how is this ...
5
votes
3answers
145 views

Why are there no tree-like plants that grow in lakes?

Looking at aerial photos of boreal forests, with dense woods clear-cut by quiet lakes, I wondered why exactly are the woods so clear-cut at the edge of water? Why won't trees develop adaptations that ...
1
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0answers
70 views

Can human change its morphology or anatomy due to ecological changes?

According to Charles Darwin, as the surrounding environment changes, so changes the anatomy or morphology of a specific organism. But nowadays, humans have become very advanced in the technology and ...
0
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1answer
80 views

Are harmful gases abiotic or biotic factors in our environment?

As we all know, harmful gases play a negative role in our society and our environment. Are these gases playing as abiotic or biotic factors in our lives?
2
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0answers
23 views

How do climate and location affect the Pine Processionary moth?

I have statistics on the occurence of the Pine Processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa); we have the regions that are located in Algeria, infested area in percent, the defiliation degree (small, ...
1
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1answer
24 views

Silene virginica Endangered in FL

Why is Silene virginica, colloquially known as Fire Pink, endangered in Florida? What factors besides human industrialization are affecting its survival there?
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Is there an antagonistic association between Penicillium and Aspergillus?

Some Aspergillus species appear to like walnuts. My question concerns the association of Penicillium and Aspergillus. No sooner does Aspergillus colonize a walnut (or some other challenging carbon ...
2
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0answers
31 views

Why are fly not scared when landing on a monitor with changing graphics?

I have been wondering why would insects in general, not be scared when important changes happen on your monitor where they have landed... If you move even just a finger, they are scared to death and ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Metapopulation structure - book recommendations

What book would you recommend me to study: the dynamics of metapopulations, the structure of metapopulations, the evolution in structured metapopulations? I am not looking for an introduction ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Why isn't phosphorus or nitrogen a limiting nutrient for animals?

Nitrogen and Phosphorus are usually the limiting nutrient for plants, especially for algae. Phosphorus is used for DNA, ATP and phospholipids, and Nitrogen is used for pretty much every protein a ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

How does a pine cone open?

When a pine cone is wet, it remains closed. However, when it's dry it opens again. From the perspective of physics or biomechanics, what is the mechanism that allows a pine cone to open and close as ...
9
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2answers
135 views

Does artificial high intensity light damage permanently dark ecosystems?

Popular science features on wildlife typically capture camera images using natural light, or high-speed exposures. This is not possible where the ambient light is extremely poor. E.g. Caves, Undersea ...
6
votes
3answers
366 views

Why are there ecosystems?

Why would things self-organize in such a manner? I'm a mathematician and I have no baggage in ecology or biology. If the question is too broad maybe someone can point me to formal sources where this ...
1
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2answers
48 views

What's the fastest legal way for the nutrients in a dead body to re-enter the ecosystem?

Apologies for weirdness. Of the various legal methods of disposing of a human corpse, which one ensures the nutrients which compose the body get back into the wider ecosystem the fastest? Unless ...
6
votes
1answer
83 views

Has Colony Collapse Disorder (or its equivalent) been noted in other species?

Colony Collapse Disorder is a well studied phenomenon relating to the decline of bee populations - has this disorder, or its equivalent, been observed in other colony-based species?
3
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1answer
194 views

Parasitism and mimicry

I was reading this article which states this: Classical Batesian mimicry, in which an undefended mimic evolves to look like a toxic model, is a parasitic relationship in which the mimic gains ...
3
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1answer
52 views

In which month should I map maritime vegetation?

I'm studying habitat use by Brent Goose in the UK, a species that feeds on maritime vegetation. It's main food types are Zostera sp., Ruppia sp., Ulva / Enteromorpha sp. and Puccinellia sp. I plan to ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Do invasive species cause long-term damage to ecosystems they invade?

Growing up in the U.S., I was warned at various times of the dire consequences of a variety of introduced pests (usually insects). Japanese beetles, gypsy moths, and most recently the brown ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Chaos theory and population cycles

I have just begun to read about Chaos theory and have come across the statement that "Period three implies chaos." My question: Does any odd period imply chaos or only 3? If so, how can populations ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Why Can Varied Species Live Together in Particular Ecosystems?

Consider the following question: The Piney Woods of Eastern Texas is home to a wide variety of organisms ranging from the grass Longleaf Oats to coyotes. Which of the following best explains why ...
1
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1answer
53 views

Calculating photosynthetic efficiency

While calculating photosynthetic efficiency, do we take into account the Gross Primary Production or the Net Primary Production ?
6
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3answers
233 views

Is there a hypothesis that attempts to explain patterns of species richness along all three energy-related environmental gradients?

My question is related to one of the oldest question in ecology: "What determines global patterns of species richness?". However, I want to focus on one particular part of this question, which has ...
1
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1answer
273 views

Question regarding Rate of Photosynthesis AP Biology Lab

We are doing a lab on the effects of light intensity/wavelength on the rate of photosynthesis in AP bio and we were asked to visit this website here: ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Generalism - specialism index in microbial ecology

I am doing research in Lipid metabolism in different yeast species and I would like to look into ecology of them. I would like to classify them to a Generalist/specialist based on different ...
1
vote
2answers
572 views

Definition of “Niche Complementarity”

What does "Niche Complementarity" means? On this website they define "Niche Complementarity" as: The tendency for coexisting species which occupy a similar position along one niche dimension ...
1
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1answer
74 views

Are these bat social calls?

I'm currently researching bat social calls (not echolocation calls) and have been given a series of samples (in .wav format) and wanted to know, if what I can hear is actually the social calls. Below ...